ATLANTA (AP) — Another eight states are gaining flexibility from the Bush-era No Child Left Behind law, U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan said Tuesday.
The Education Department has approved waivers for Connecticut, Delaware, Louisiana, Maryland, New York, North Carolina, Ohio and Rhode Island. Eighteen other states and Washington, D.C., also applied for a waiver and could receive approval in coming weeks.
President Barack Obama's administration is granting waivers in exchange for promises from states to improve how they prepare and evaluate students. In all, 19 states have been given waivers so far.
"These states are getting more flexibility with federal funds and relief from NCLB's one-size-fits-all mandate in order to develop and implement locally tailored solutions to meet their unique educational challenges," Duncan said in a call with reporters.
He made the announcement in Connecticut, where lawmakers recently passed legislation that overhauls how the state deals with the lowest performing schools. That overhaul requires annual performance evaluations for principals, administrators and teachers, and links tenure to a teacher's effectiveness.
"I think today signaled a change in our application, a change in our ability to compete with other states, a change which marks our dedication to doing in our state that which we know will work," Connecticut Gov. Dannel P. MaIloy, said at a ceremony with Duncan at the state Capitol.
The waivers are a stopgap measure until Congress rewrites the decade-old law, which has been up for renewal since 2007. Federal lawmakers agree the law needs to be changed, but they've bickered over how to do that.
The states that won waivers earlier this year are: Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Tennessee.